qxxrjjoy · 2021-09-30

Wind farm committee members appointed

More than four months after it was approved, Council has finally appointed members to its alternative energy ad hoc committee.

“I have to say we are certainly a little behind the eight ball on this one,” Mayor Brian Jackson said Wednesday after council appointed six members to the committee.

The committee will be made up of  Jackson, Coun. Rod Boynton, citizen members Gary Taylor and Rick Earhart, and industry members Tim Cane and Chris Olthuis.

The committee will recommend local standards for alternative energy sites, such as wind farms.

But the group won’t have long to study the issue before it makes its first submission. It plans to meet in about two weeks to come up with a proposal to make to the province’s standing committee April 27 for the new Green Act.

Originally, the committee was to recommend standards for an Innisfil zoning bylaw.

But since then the provincial government has introduced the Green Act, which is expected to take much of the local planning powers away from municipalities when it comes to alternative energy sites.

There are two wind farm applications before council. Schneider Power wants the town to rezone 200 acres near Conc. 5 and Highway 400 to allow five turbines. Skypower, another alternative energy company, has applied to erect two wind-testing towers south of Fennels Corners near Highway 11.

Several neighbours to the proposed wind farms, including the Cookstown Aerodome, are opposing the wind farms.

Last November, Boynton suggested council strike its own committee to recommend made-in-Innisfil standards for wind farms.

On Wednesday, Boynton called on the ad hoc committee to look at international standards since “there are no provincial nor national standards.”

For instance, France now wants wind turbines to be set back 1.2 kilometres from the nearest home, while the current setback in Innisfil would be 300 metres.